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W.H. Auden collection

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 1046

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of W.H. Auden, papers by others given to Auden, and publications about Auden's life and work from 1934 to 1988. Amongst these items are scripts for essays read over German radio by Auden in the 1960s, typescripts of two class lectures given by Auden, a large range of newspaper clippings of essays and poems by Auden, as well as reviews and commentary by other critics and readers of his work, and numerous programs for performances of Auden's plays and librettos in both the United States and England. The collection also includes issues of The Badger, school magazine of The Downs School, which feature contributions by Auden.

Also included in the collection is a preliminary agreement between the American Library of World Literature, W.H. Auden, and Anne Fremantle for "Protestant Mysticism," later published as The Protestant Mystics. Additional items include Chester Kallman's high school yearbook, correspondence from Elizabeth Sewell, George Martin, and Thekla Clark, a typescript with holograph corrections of the interview Auden gave to Arion, the corrected typescript of Auden's speech accepting the National Book Award, and fragments of texts by other writers and critics which Auden collected.


  • 1934-1988

Language of Materials

Materials primarialy in English, with some materials in German.

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Biographical Note

Wystan Hugh Auden, a poet, was born in York, England, on February 21, 1907, to George Augustus (a medical officer) and Constnace Rosalie (a nurse) Auden. He attended Christ Church, Oxford, from 1925-1928, then served as a schoolmaster in various institutions in England and Scotland from 1930 to 1935, including The Downs School in Colwell. In 1935 Auden married Erika Mann, a writer and the daughter of Thomas Mann, so that she could gain British Citizenship and escape Nazi Germany. Although the two never lived together, they remained married until Mann's death in 1969. In 1939, two years after he was awarded the King's Gold Medal for poetry, Auden left England for the United States, becoming a citizen in 1946. During the 1940s he won numerous prizes for his work, including two Guggenheim fellowships, a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Medal for Literature from the National Book Committee. Between 1940 and 1961 Auden also served as a faculty member at numerous academic institutions, including the University of Michigan, Swathmore College, Bryn Mawr College, Bennington College, Barnard College, Smith College, and Oxford University. Throughout his career he collaborated with other artists including Christopher Isherwood and Louis MacNeice, and frequently produced libretti for musical works by Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky, and Mozart with his companion, Chester Kallman. Auden died in Vienna on September 28, 1973, and was buried near his summer home in Kirchstetten, Austria.


2 linear feet (4 boxes); 1 oversized papers box and 1 oversized papers folder (OP); AV Masters: .25 linear feet (1 box)


Collection of material related to English poet W.H. Auden, including essays, a manuscript poem, newspaper clippings, reviews, programs, and photographs.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Custodial History

Originally received as part of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. Additions purchased from dealers, provenance unknown.


Gift of Raymond Danowski, 2004. Additions were purchased from Ken Lopez Bookseller in 2006, from Charles Agvent in 2007, and from Am Here Books in 2010.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of Literary Collections and the Danowski Poetry Library, Kevin Young, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in Literature and Poetry.


Control level 3


File name: auden1046.doc


Processed by Elizabeth Chase, April 2006.

Control level 3

File name: auden1046.doc

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W.H. Auden collection, 1934-1988
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
January 9, 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States